How I'm Learning to Love Myself in Binge Eating Disorder Recovery


To love your body for what it is and what it does for you is something many people struggle with. In fact, I have only met one person who is OK and happy with themselves in my entire life. This is something that pains me because as a beautiful and talented human species, we should love ourselves for what our bodies are able to do.

Self-love is the act of loving your own person without question or judgment. Acceptance is the act of knowing what your body is capable of, and understanding what it is not able to do, and being OK with that — whatever that is.

For me, self-love and acceptance have been a major struggle throughout my entire life. I never liked how I looked or what I wore or how I was. I still don’t. I look in the mirror and cringe at the fat that hangs from my stomach because I can’t control my binge-eating disorder.

My relationship with food has never been a good one. Ever since I was little, it has been a constant battle between eating the right foods and having control of the portions on my plate. It has also been a humiliating experience. Family members telling you to stop eating because you’re getting fat, family members taking food away from you because they know you’ll eat it. Family members saying you got bigger and need to lose weight. Family members always saying something about your weight or the food your eating or telling you to exercise or looking at you funny and lying to you about how you look. Yes, I have had it all.

I’m crying as I’m writing this because it is so painful. I have so much self-hatred for my impulsivity and lack of control with food. I have such a hard time admitting to myself and others that I need help with this. Although, just because I need help with it, Does not give people the right or the ability to say something to me about it. Those words that those family members said stung like acid in my eyes.

I know I have to accept myself the way I am at some point but I don’t know when that will be or how it will happen. I guess I’m just going to have to play the waiting game on that one. For now, I think I’m going to focus on self-love. I have a book about it, so I’m going to make an effort to read it and try to follow some of the suggestions that might be written in this book. I have yet to even crack it open and look at the inside cover. Not a good start, but I’ll get there at some point… At least I hope I will.

To love yourself is a beautiful thing. I wish I could love all of me, but so far, I have only just started accepting minor imperfections of myself. I won’t go into details but accepting these imperfections is a huge step for me. I am so proud that I am able to be OK with these little perfect mistakes that are part of me and make me who I am.

Below are some photos I believe are a fantastic start to spreading awareness about body positivity and self-worth.

“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.” – Wear Your Label

I have shared these images previously on social media to convey a message that it’s OK to not be a size zero. It’s also OK to have cellulite and stretch marks. It’s all OK. And if you are a size zero and everywhere in between, I want you to know that’s OK too. You are beautiful at any size. I am not a size zero, and I will probably never be a size zero, and that’s OK! I have friends that are a size zero, and I love them with all my heart. I also have friends that are not a size zero, and I also love them with all my heart.

For me, self-image is a large part of my insecurity, depression and social anxiety (thanks for that, BPD). But even though I don’t like what I see in the mirror, that does not negate the fact that I have beautiful qualities. The same goes for you. You are beautiful even though your eyes and your brain are trying to tell you you’re not.

So please don’t listen to them.

Listen to me right now, at this very moment, you are the oldest you have ever been. You are also the most beautiful and developed that you have ever been. Do not let your mind wander to negative self-talk. This is where the real work comes in. Loving yourself is hard work! Put in the time and do whatever you need to do to feel OK with yourself. You will not regret it, I promise.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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Photos via contributor.


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